Transparent overdrives….nope

Dudeman7

Strat-Talker
Jul 21, 2019
402
Around
Of course it all comes down to personal preference but I think I prefer the mid-boosted, TS circuit too. As long as the gain is set lower and the volume is high enough to boost your amp (or the next gain pedal if you stack them), the good old TS is a terrific lead boost.

I'm not sure if I could use it as an always-on OD though.

The Klones seem to shine more in that regard, as an always-on tone sweetener. I have used my Klone and a Bluesbreaker clone in that role and I have gotten good results. However, I tend to use a lot of effects and it is more difficult for me to get the levels of dirt while retaining clarity with those things than with the TS.
 

keys88

Strat-Talker
Apr 4, 2014
305
Columbus, OH
I have (and like) both. I like overdrives that have their own thing going on, like a TS. But I also like pedals that just seem to give me *more* of my amp. You can debate whether any pedal can be truly 100% transparent or not. They probably all add something to your tone. But if you have a pedal that gives you more gain and/or volume, but still retains the overall tone and character of your amp (no drastic eq shift), I’d call it transparent.
 

Chicago Matt

Strat-O-Master
Sep 24, 2014
622
Woodstock
My favorite "transparent overdrive" is a EQ pedal.

Me too. I just haven't been able to get along with gain and boost pedals. I especially don't like the compression that goes along with most of them. Since I run my amps turned up so the tubes are hot and distorting a bit with the guitar volume up (usually with an attenuator), an EQ like the G-7 in front works out great. Set it to the tone shape you want and give it 15db or so to drive the amp over the top so it's really singing (no compression but tube compression). I know, very old school. But it keeps the touch sensitivity intact, which I love. I haven't found anything that sounds as good for me, although I've heard a lot of guys that sound great with the other pedals. Maybe I'm just too old to change?
 
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Miotch

Most Honored Senior Member
Jun 28, 2011
5,316
ok
I end up adjusting most of my OD pedals to do about the same thing. Nothing transparent about them after I set them the way I like them. I apparently have only 2-3 sounds I like from OD pedals and I'd just be throwing cash down an endless rabbit hole if I kept chasing tone because I'd circle around to the same 2-3 tones.
 

henderman

Dr. Stratster
Dec 4, 2013
10,795
largo,fl
my early model mesa lonestar special i should have never sold had the best spring reverb and built in if you bought a switch for it sounds exactly like you boost i ever heard.
 

Groundwire

Strat-O-Master
Apr 16, 2021
690
Oregon
It's soooo dependent on the rest of your rig and especially on the amp you're plugging in…
In a blackface, I love both a Bluesbreaker (quite transparent but some "sweetening" is there) and a Klon (quite a bit of mids). Also like Zendrives (pretty mids-heavy on my settings).
In a brownface amp I most like Bluesdriver-type and Bluesbreaker.

And let's not enter into heavier-gain.

Not sure where this puts me. All I know is that I have no absolute rules in the matter of overdrives.
Blues breakers tend to work well with most amps. Enough mids to push a Blackface, but also not so Honky that they sound nasal through a Marshall or Brown Deluxe. They also clean up pretty well with the Gtr volume.
 

Tremdaddy

Strat-Talker
Sep 18, 2020
150
North Hollywood, California
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I don’t like transparent overdrives. Maybe I’m just old or maybe I’ve been playing tube screamers for too long but I like a little mid hump to my overdrive. It just sounds “right” to me. I’ve been on a search for a “transparent” overdrive for many years and I’ve tried and owned probably close to 100 different ones, (oh….I know…..) and all the transparent ones I’ve tried just sound weird to me….I just can’t get over the overdrive sounding EXACTLY like my amp, (I love my amp btw), I guess I’m just used to a particular OD sound. That being said, the best of the bunch was the Clark/Barber “Gainster”….if you’re into “transparent”, that’s the one for you. For me I guess I’ll just dig out my ol’ trusty ‘83 TS-9…..

Funny, I no longer like my '83 TS-9 for anything, that mid range quack just doesn't make it for me anymore. Maybe for SRV stuff with huge strings but pretty much meh for anything else. Klon, Bluesbreaker, Timmy, Lovepedal Eternity, OCD all sound better to my ear. I've got the '83 and the 1st reissue 90's version TS-9 made by Maxon and an 80's SD-9 - I guess I'm just over that sound or maybe I've just heard it too much.
 

GhostJam47

Strat-O-Master
Apr 21, 2021
882
Seattle
The answer is TS (type) --> Transparent Overdrive

I play an FD2--> Timmy. I can toggle the FD2 from Vintage (TS mode) to Comp Cut (Clean boost) and get the best of both worlds.

I don't love the TS sound by itself, but stacked with Timmy, it's great.
 

Dwightcarr11

Strat-Talk Member
Aug 28, 2021
43
Ga
I keep an od-r mini, ts mini, tumnus, and pantheon on my board. Find I can use all 4 sounds for different things and combining them gives me even more options!
 

bmikultyak

Strat-Talker
Feb 28, 2020
128
NJ
IMHO, just buy a real tube amp where it drives the output tubes. Preferably with a tube rectifier as well for the sag/compression.
 

RadioFM74

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 5, 2016
1,747
Italy and Switzerland
Blues breakers tend to work well with most amps. Enough mids to push a Blackface, but also not so Honky that they sound nasal through a Marshall or Brown Deluxe. They also clean up pretty well with the Gtr volume.

I'm afraid you're right ;D And allow me then to suggest a Mooer Blues Crab for the budget-minded wishing to taste the flavour (such a great little pedal), and a Snouse Blackbox for the person wishing to commit to that sound. The Snouse is the closest I have to an "always on" pedal.
 

Groundwire

Strat-O-Master
Apr 16, 2021
690
Oregon
I'm afraid you're right ;D And allow me then to suggest a Mooer Blues Crab for the budget-minded wishing to taste the flavour (such a great little pedal), and a Snouse Blackbox for the person wishing to commit to that sound. The Snouse is the closest I have to an "always on" pedal.
I use the Vick Audio Mt Pleasant, and similar to your Snouse, it can almost be left on at all times…
 

SIngles Forever

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 14, 2019
1,258
Montreal
Fulltone Cream Deja Vibe. Always on. It's on now actually. Vibrato but zero effect. Gain at 4:00.

Literally communist level benefits for all strats.
 

SIngles Forever

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 14, 2019
1,258
Montreal
Funny, I no longer like my '83 TS-9 for anything, that mid range quack just doesn't make it for me anymore. Maybe for SRV stuff with huge strings but pretty much meh for anything else. Klon, Bluesbreaker, Timmy, Lovepedal Eternity, OCD all sound better to my ear. I've got the '83 and the 1st reissue 90's version TS-9 made by Maxon and an 80's SD-9 - I guess I'm just over that sound or maybe I've just heard it too much.

That's cause you finally realized that a TS sucks more tone than a cheap.....

joyo
 

Dudeman7

Strat-Talker
Jul 21, 2019
402
Around
I use the Vick Audio Mt Pleasant, and similar to your Snouse, it can almost be left on at all times…

My Bluesbreaker clone is the Vick Audio Mount Pleasant too. That is great, just like the other Vick Audio pedals I have.

A buddy of mine has a Snouse Blackbox, the one with all of the extra switches on the sides. That thing is great too and it may be the nicest build I have ever seen in a pedal.

The Mount Pleasant does everything I want from a Bluesbreaker clone though.
 


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